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Disney Wiki

The Shadow King is a cancelled film written by Henry Selick. Initially, Disney made plans to release the project, but eventually backed out of the deal, after spending a reported $50 million on it.


THE SHADOW KING is a deliciously magical tale about nine-year-old New York orphan Hap who hides his fantastically weird hands with long fingers from a cruel world. But when a living shadow girl teaches him to make amazing hand shadows that come to life, his hands become incredible weapons in a shadow war against a ravenous monster bent on killing Hap’s brother Richard and ultimately destroying New York.
―Press release by Henry Selick, as cited.

Proposed cast and characters[]



After spending a reported $50 million, and due to unspecified concerns over future costs and benefits, Disney Studios declined the project in August 2012, allowing Selick to shop the project to other studios.


After the success of his stop motion film Coraline, director Selick was brought into Disney/Pixar and given a four-picture deal. He wrote his own script for a story about a young orphan in New York City who has hands with unusually long fingers which the child hides from others. When the child is taught how to make "amazing hand shadows that come to life", they become his weapons in a shadow war against a monster intent on killing the child's brother and ultimately, New York as well. The film began pre-production in 2011, with an expected release date of October 2013, but ultimately never materialized.


In February 2013, it was reported in a press release by Selick that K5 International would be handling sales at the European Film Market.


  • Puppets from the unfinished film are now in Selick's private collection of puppets from his films, as was shown in Prop Culture's episode on The Nightmare Before Christmas.
  • In 2022, Selick confirmed that he got the rights back to the film and hopes to complete it someday.

External links[]

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia page The Shadow King. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.